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Factbox: The 2013 Eurovision Song Contest

(Reuters) - Malmo in Sweden is to host the grand final of the 58th Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.
/ Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - Malmo in Sweden is to host the grand final of the 58th Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.

Here are some facts about song contest:

* The first contest took place in 1956. It was originally conceived in Monaco by Marcel Bezencon and based on the Italian Sanremo Festival held since 1951. Switzerland won the first contest.


* Singer Johnny Logan won the contest three times. In 1980 and 1987 he represented Ireland and won both times. In 1992 he wrote Linda Martin's winning entry.

* ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner. The Swedish band won the contest in 1974 with the song "Waterloo".

* Norway came last most often - in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001 and 2004. However, they have also won three times - in 1985, 1995 and 2009. Ireland has won seven times, Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom five times. Sweden and the Netherlands have won four times.

* In 2008 and 2011, a record number of 43 countries participated. Morocco has taken part in the contest only once in 1980 without success.

* In 2011, Lena, the winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, decided to defend her title on home ground - something only two people have done in the history of the contest.

* The most covered song in the contest is Domenico Mudugno's "Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu," also known as "Volare".

* More than 1,000 songs already have been heard in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 2006, the song of Ireland's Brian Kennedy was number 1,000. Number 100 was "T'en Va Pas", performed by Esther Ofarim for Switzerland. Luxembourg presented the 500th song in 1986, "L'amour De Ma Vie".

* Most winning songs were performed in English - songs (mostly) in English won 24 times. French is also popular, with 14 victories. Dutch and Hebrew songs won 3 times each


* Sweden's Loreen won the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan before an international TV audience of 100 million, days after angering Azeri authorities by meeting rights activists critical of the host country's human rights record.

* The 28-year-old won with the song "Euphoria" in the annual competition, dancing barefoot as she sang. After the show, traditionally heavy on kitsch, bizarre costumes and dramatic presentation but low on politics, Loreen steered clear of any controversial statements.

Sources: Reuters/Eurovision Song Contest Website

(Editing by Paul Casciato)